DIY Bass Guitar kit
3rd February 2020
At the London Calling exhibition at The Museum of London recently I had this idea to make an homage of Paul Simonon’s bass guitar. That plan changed as all the kit bass guitars available had Rosewood fretboards while Simonon’s was maple. Still keen to build a Fender copy though so I acquired cheapish DIY Bass Guitar kit. Having made a couple of guitar kits in the past that were slightly more involved, this was a very simple kit. There was very little to do on it other than a bit of shaping, applying the final finish then bolting it together.
The kit in the box as it arrived
First job I tackled was to shape the headstock into the Fender Precision Bass style. This is how it came in the kit…
Profile headstock shapes are available on the internet and the correct shape was marked out.
Careful cutting and sanding left this…
Always a good idea to do a trial fit to make sure everything fits well and lines up at the beginning too.
Happy that everything fitted together properly next job was plenty of sanding to ensure all was silky smooth.
Enhancing the grain with a thin wash of black dye.
Sanding back again to leave just the grain darkened.
Cherry red wood dye applied. At first this looked too dull and lifeless.
I chose Rustins Plastic Coating for the final gloss finish. Applied in many coats with a foam brush. This made the red dye come alive.
Plenty of coats required to fill the grain to allow sanding flat and polishing to a smooth finish.
No it’s not a real one it’s just a DIY Bass Guitar kit
It had to look like a pukka Fender Precision Bass so I had to make a waterslide decal of the headstock logo. This is for me only and mostly just to hang on a wall. It will never be passed off as an original or be sold as such and anyone with half a clue can easily tell the difference.
First the headstock was sprayed with clear lacquer.
Decal applied and left to dry.
After it’s fully dry the lacquer was flatted back with 1200 grade wet and dry and polished. Looks great with the hardware installed.
All assembled, polished, intonated, action set up and tuned. I think it looks great. I just have to learn how to play it…